Collective benefit: A new principle of ethic

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patriarch
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 02:05 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;76680 wrote:
But how does your term 'benefit' compare with JS Mill's rather precise explanation of what he means by 'happiness'? Mill goes to a good deal of trouble explaining the term.

Benefit is a far more exact term than happiness in explaining ethic.
It refers to the advantage that something gives you. Sometimes it can be countable, when it refers to advatages about money and time etc. Sometimes it is uncountable at least we can easily understand it. But happiness is too abstart.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 06:49 am
@patriarch,
Except that Mill defines happiness - he does not leave it as some vague, undefined figure of speech. For Mill, it is the absence of pain and the presence of pleasure (which he further divides into two sorts; he does this by claiming that it is better to be Socrates happy, than to be a happy pig).

So, as far as I can tell, when we understand Mill's definition of happiness as compared to your notion of "collective benefit", the difference rests solely in being able to calculate the "collective benefit"?
 
patriarch
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:21 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;76784 wrote:
Except that Mill defines happiness - he does not leave it as some vague, undefined figure of speech. For Mill, it is the absence of pain and the presence of pleasure (which he further divides into two sorts; he does this by claiming that it is better to be Socrates happy, than to be a happy pig).

So, as far as I can tell, when we understand Mill's definition of happiness as compared to your notion of "collective benefit", the difference rests solely in being able to calculate the "collective benefit"?

Happiness must be related to emotion, which is not a stable and certain idea. What is happiness? Different people have different explanation. But the collective benefit is more exact. Remember that "desire is the fundamental force of all human's action", according to Hobbes. Desire is much more important than emotion. Collecitve benefit is based upon a collective desire (not individual desire).

Traditional utilitarianist like J.S. Mill may ask "Would this action be kind?" while Kant may ask "What will bring about the best consequence?", when we ask "what should we do". But the theory of collective benefit has combine both ideas. What I concern is "What would somebody do the same action to me as I have done?" Consequence is important, but doing reasoning for checkiing every doctrines is impossible. So we need a common explanation instead of reasoning every doctrince one by one. But "happiness" is not good enough. Benefit can express the most fundamental reason why we need ethical doctrines as it is based upon desire, our fundamental force of thinking and doing.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:51 am
@patriarch,
i like the idea of using benefit as opposed to happiness, because people dont always know what is beneficial to them or things that are harmful to them or to others make them happy. maybe there is a way of combining both concepts-because the best would be to be happy about something that was beneficial to all, or at least the greatest majority possible. maybe that is the key-the happiness would come from doing what is most beneficial for the greatest number. but still gives no criteria for determining what beneficial exactly is.

in any given situation where you needed to decide what would be the ethical thing to do for example, could you say that benefit would be leaving the condition a person is in better than it was before your action? but how to define 'better'?
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 10:47 am
@patriarch,
You can use any word object and equate a plus or minus addition (see: value theory).

Whether you're rationing "happiness" or "value" metrics, the math is the same, yet different for each individual set, 1-6 removed. The key is, like categorical imperative, you are constantly applying a sliding scale of modular value sets.

Consider Vector Tensor Theory: the conservation of angular momentum containing Value Set A (past tense), bridging the ethical gap to B (present tense), and the potential trajectories toward C (future tense), forms the Human Set that is then rationed to equally removed gaps (like environmental conditions that, layer upon layer, affect the hardware/software Human Set - again, a 1-6 ratio in flux: Heraclitus).

The Golden Proportion is at the heart of it all (or, if you like Chakra categoricals, the Solar Plexus is the center of the modular, scalar universe).
 
patriarch
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 12:33 am
@salima,
salima;76812 wrote:
i like the idea of using benefit as opposed to happiness, because people dont always know what is beneficial to them or things that are harmful to them or to others make them happy. maybe there is a way of combining both concepts-because the best would be to be happy about something that was beneficial to all, or at least the greatest majority possible. maybe that is the key-the happiness would come from doing what is most beneficial for the greatest number. but still gives no criteria for determining what beneficial exactly is.

in any given situation where you needed to decide what would be the ethical thing to do for example, could you say that benefit would be leaving the condition a person is in better than it was before your action? but how to define 'better'?

Notice the word "collective". The collective benefit is a benefit shared by everybody in a society. Therefore, only the society has to be "better". However, as a member of the society, you must share some benefit, though it may not as good as you have imagined.

So we need Mohist explanation to fill up this small defect. Mo tzu proclaimed "you must be benefitial finally once you've achieved righteousness (ethical doctrines)". For example, feeling of happiness/satisfaction, good fame, improved interpersonal relationship...... and more importantly he believe that there would be a final judgement by Gods after death. Even you haven't got the benefits as good as you have imagined, you will still be benefitial as you wish in the final judgement. So real ethic must make us to be benefitial.
 
 

 
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